(American, b.1965) is an installation artist and sculptor who produces art in response to her environment and daily routines. Zittel was born in Escondido, CA. In 1983, she graduated from San Pasqual High School, and in 1988, she obtained her BFA in Painting and Sculpture from San Diego State University. In 1990, she received her MFA in Sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design.
The first solo exhibition of her career, Rotunda Installation
, was featured at the San Diego Museum of Art in 1987. Zittel first began to create art in response to her daily routines and surroundings during the early 1990s. Her work frequently focused on the creation of functional objects related to basic needs, such as clothing, food, and shelter. Zittel's first Living Unit
was an experimental structure created for the purpose of reducing everything to only those items necessary for a compact living system within her small Brooklyn, NY, apartment. During this time, she launched her own corporation to make her art available to consumers. Some of her works were designed to make daily routines efficient. Other works, such as Escape Vehicles
, were designed to appeal to the dream of isolating oneself from the rest of the world. In 1997, Zittel’s work was part of Documenta X in Kassel, Germany. Her art has been shown in exhibits at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Museum fur Gegenwartskunst in Basel, Switzerland, the Gallerla Massimo De Carlo in Milan, Italy, and the IKON Gallery in Birmingham, England. Zittel's work was also included in a show at the University of Chicago's Smart Museum that took place from 2005 to 2006.
Zittel was commissioned by the Public Art Fund in 1999 to create a project for Central Park in New York, NY. The site-specific project, Point of Interest: An A–Z Land Brand
, was situated near the southeast entrance until March 2000. The sculpture featured two huge rocks made from Styrofoam and concrete, designed to remind city dwellers that Central Park was created specifically for the purpose of enjoyment. She was also commissioned by the Danish government to create a floating island, A–Z Pocket Property
, just off the coast of Denmark. She lived on the concrete island for one month as part of an isolation experiment. Zittel continued her escapism project in a 25-acre tract of land in the desert. The project formed part of an investigation into modern ideas of personal freedom. Zittel was included in both the 2004 and 2006 Whitney Biennial in New York. In 2005, she received the Lucelia Artist Award from the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., and she was appointed to the Roski School of Fine Arts faculty at the University of Southern California in 2006. She currently lives in both Joshua Tree, CA, and New York, NY, where she is represented by the Sadie Coles HQ and the Andrea Rosen Gallery